World Vision joined the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) in launching the National Children’s Month celebration with the theme “Bata: Iligtas sa Droga!”, which hopes to promote the rights and protection of children from various forms of violence and exploitation, including illegal drugs and online sex abuse among children.
The kick-off activity on November 6 in Quezon City, highlighted CWC’s Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence Against Children (PPA Evac) and the “Pito, Bata, Pito! A Call 4 Help (C4H) 1 Million Pito Campaign.”
In support to the PPA Evac, World Vision shared its ongoing child protection campaign “It Takes a World to End Sexual Exploitation of Children.” The campaign aims to educate and protect three million children from sexual exploitation in the next three years.
“The Philippines is one of the countries suffering from online sexual exploitation of children. We want to change this. We want children to live in safe homes, safe communities, and a safe country,” World Vision National Director Rommel Fuerte shared, reiterating the need for children to know where they can report abuses, especially sexual violations.
Fuerte explained that other than their parents, children can also report cases to the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC), a local mechanism available within communities where children’s voice can be heard and where they can directly report concerns.
Joining the kick-off celebration were World Vision Ambassadors CJ Hirro, Dane Hipolito, and Quest.
“Sexual exploitation does not only happen outside. It happens in homes, it happens online,” Hirro, Miss Global 2016 1st Runner—Up, said.
Ronnel, a child leader mentored by World Vision, reminded his fellow students about the rights of children to be protected from any forms of violence. “Nakakalungkot na sa kabila po ng efforts ng pamahalaan, pribadong sector, at mga NGO, ang usaping ito [sexual violence]ay patuloy pa rin at mas tumitindi at dumarami pa ang mga nabibiktima. Kaya nararapat lamang na lahat tayo [mga bata]ay magtulungan para wakasan na ang ano mang pang-aabuso sa mga bata,” he stated.
(“It is saddening that despite the efforts of the government, private sector, and NGOs, this issue [sexual violence]persists and more are victimized. That’s why it is just fitting that all of us [children]help in ending any form of violence against children.”)
The Philippines ranks 10th worldwide on the prevalence of sexual exploitation among children aged 10 to 14. World Vision commits to stand and speak out to protect children from harm, grieving with the abused and seeking restoration.
The 2017 National Children’s Month kick-off celebration was organized by the Council for the Welfare of Children in partnership with World Vision, Unicef and Rotary Club. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and National Youth Commission (NYC) also participated in the event.
Children’s Month is an annual activity conducted every November that commemorates the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly.